23 April 2024

Former chief executive of National Capital Authority joins Reflections Holidays board

| James Day
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Sally Barnes

Sally Barnes stepped down from her role as NCA chief executive on 29 February. Photo: File.

Among the NSW Government’s recent appointments to the board of its Crown Holiday Parks Land Manager is the former chief executive of the National Capital Authority (NCA), Sally Barnes.

Reflections Holidays manages holiday parks on Crown land adjoining NSW reserves, where they offer affordable nature-based experiences including cabins, caravans and wilderness camping accommodation. The government agency manages 40 parks in coastal and inland areas across the state, and reinvests the profits into the reserves under its remit.

The six-member board was established under the Crown Land Management Act 2016 to govern the strategic direction and financial management of Reflections Holidays.

Crown Lands has appointed Julie Osborne as chair of the Reflections Holidays board, along with Ms Barnes and Justin Hales. Their five-year terms will begin on 1 May, replacing Chris Shaw, Matthew Toohey and former chair Wendy Machin.

Crown Lands Deputy Secretary Melanie Hawyes thanked the outgoing board members and said the new appointments would give Reflections Holidays the ability to meet future opportunities and challenges.

“The board plays a vital role in ensuring Reflections Holidays parks on Crown land are well managed to deliver great experiences for guests while supporting regional tourism and the local economies where they are located,” Ms Hawyes said.

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Aside from her role as the NCA’s chief executive, Ms Barnes previously held positions as the director of National Parks at Parks Australia and CEO of the Office of Environment and Heritage in the NSW Government.

She was awarded the Australian Capital Territory Excellence in Women’s Leadership Award in 2017 in recognition of her contributions towards the advancement of gender equality across Australia.

In a statement following her resignation announcement, Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Kristy McBain thanked Ms Barnes for her work at the helm of the institution responsible for developing and maintaining the national capital and Canberra’s unique cultural significance.

“Under Ms Barnes’ leadership, the NCA has delivered on a range of significant projects that continue to lift the prominence of the nation’s capital and directly benefit the community,” Ms McBain said.

“These include the Lake Burley Griffin Wall Renewal Program and upgrades to the Merchant Navy War Memorial.

“Ms Barnes also led the installation of several commemorative statues, such as the Dame Dorothy Tangney and Dame Enid Lyons sculptures, that help to remind us of the rich history of our capital.”

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The former chief executive will join the board with Justine Hales, the current CEO of Camplify – Australia’s largest van hire and peer-to-peer sharing community, along with the new chair Julie Osborne, an experienced company director and existing member of the Reflections Holidays board.

Ms Osborne said she was delighted to be appointed to the chair role after four years as a member, and was looking forward to working with the experienced and talented team.

Reflections Holidays CEO Nick Baker paid tribute to the outgoing chair. He said Ms Machin’s vision, guidance and dedication had contributed to the growth and success of Reflections Holidays.

“Wendy has led the organisation through a period of transformation, and we are very grateful for her significant contribution over the past five years as chair and 10 years as a member of the board,” Mr Baker said.

According to the State Government, Reflections Holidays generated $111 million in economic value for regional NSW over the 2023 financial year.

With the assistance of a $28 million capital loan from the state, it also completed upgrades of park accommodation in Bermagui, Massey Green, Lennox Head, Ferry Reserve, Moonee Beach, Byron Bay, Jimmys Beach, Shaws Bay, Scotts Head, Lake Keepit and Evans Head.

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